Arctic Update Header
March 27, 2013


Both chambers have begun their spring recesses. The Senate returns on April 8. The House returns on April 9.  


Deadly Dance: Arctic Warming and Global Climate Change, March 26-27, 2013 (Tufts University, Medford, MA) The Warming Arctic, the Edward R. Murrow Center and the Center of International Environment and Resource Policy will convene a group of experts, policy makers, business and media to examine the growing body of evidence on the climate impact of the Arctic - and try to share some big approaches to it. 


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. This symposium seeks to advance understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.


The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) Meeting, March 27, 2013 (Conference Call). The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) will meet to receive comments or questions regarding their draft document, "U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System: Overview and Priorities for Action." To join the conference call, please email your request to Staff will provide the call-in information. Both U.S. and international lines are available. The draft CMTS Arctic MTS paper is available here.


Increased Arctic Maritime Activity, March 27, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska) The Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard will hold a field hearing in Alaska on Arctic shipping safety and reviewing the lessons learned from the 2012 offshore drilling season. The hearing will also examine the U.S. preparation for Arctic shipping more generally, with testimony from Alaska maritime experts, local communities, and environmental groups. Witnesses include:
- The Honorable Tommy P. Beaudreau, Acting Assistant Secretary - Land and Minerals Management, US Department of the Interior (via video teleconference)
Rear Admiral Thomas P. Ostebo, Commander, 17th District, U.S. Coast Guard
Mr. Pete E. Slaiby, Vice President, Exploration and Production, Shell Alaska
Ms. Helen Brohl, Executive Director, US Committee on the Marine Transportation System (via video teleconference)
Mr. Ed Page, Executive Director, Marine Exchange of Alaska
Ms. Eleanor Huffines, Manager, U.S. Arctic Campaign, Pew Charitable Trusts
Mr. Matt Ganley, Vice President, Bering Straits Native Corp.

arctic shippingBegich Hosts Offshore Drilling, Shipping Hearing. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich will conduct a hearing on the 2012 Arctic offshore petroleum drilling season and maritime safety in the region. The Alaska Democrat is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. Anchorage Daily News 


Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting. The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission held its first meeting on Saturday, March 23rd. Video from the first Alaska Arctic Policy Commission meeting is archived here.


Representatives Young and Farr to Chair Congressional Oceans Caucus. Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) and Alaskan Congressman Don Young will co-chair the bipartisan Congressional Oceans Caucus, dedicated to supporting ocean research and conservation. The caucus will once again consist of Members representing both coastal and inland districts who have a shared interest in keeping the water that encompasses more than 70 percent of the globe healthy for years to come. "With over 34,000 miles of coastline, the oceans' impact on Alaska is profound, both geographically and economically. From seafood to transportation, energy development to tourism, the health and well being of our oceans is vital," Congressman Young said. "Since I came to Congress 40 years ago, I have worked on ocean conservation efforts with Members on both sides of the aisle on the Natural Resources Committee, and I am pleased and excited to take on this new role within the Oceans Caucus." Congressman Don Young 


Murkowski to Hold Subsistence Public Meetings in Alaska. Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced she is holding two public meetings in Alaska on the topic of subsistence. The sessions will provide a forum for Alaskans to be heard on this important cultural and food security issue, and to have their testimony taken back to Congress. The first public meeting will be held in Bethel on April 2nd and will be live-streamed on the Senator's website for all interested in watching. The second subsistence meeting will be held in the Ahtna region in May. Senator Murkowski made a commitment last fall at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention to facilitate congressional hearings on subsistence. Senator Lisa Murkowski


National Strategy Will Help Safeguard Fish, Wildlife and Plants in a Changing Climate. In partnership with State and Tribal agencies, the Obama Administration today released the first nationwide strategy to help public and private decision makers address the impacts that climate change is having on natural resources and the people and economies that depend on them. Developed in response to a request by Congress, the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is the product of extensive national dialogue that spanned nearly two years and was shaped by comments from more than 55,000 Americans. NOAA

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics." 


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. 

 The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.


Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Reovaniemi, Finland) The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest research scientific knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic.

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